Council on Black Health Launches Youth-led Movement Counteracting Unhealthy Food Marketing
July 20, 2022
On July 7, 2022, the Council on Black Health (CBH), a research and action network dedicated to improving Black health nationwide, launched an initiative calling for action to make healthier food and beverage options more available and promoted in Black communities. The Operation Good Food and Beverages (OGF&B) website and social media accounts, Instagram and TikTok, were developed with Black youth collaborators and address the growing national health crisis of diet-related diseases, which affect Black communities disproportionately. Also on the website, resources like nutritionist-approved recipes and a social media toolkit to help spread the word are available for all.
Shiriki K. Kumanyika, PhD, MS, MPH, research professor in the department of Community Health and Prevention at the Dornsife School of Public Health (DSPH), is the founding chair of CBH and has studied food marketing to Black communities for more than a decade. OGF&B translates findings from her most recent study, which found that caregivers and other adults in Black communities are concerned about the unhealthy food and beverage ads that youth see on social media and wanted to see if prominent celebrities and others could use their influence to promote healthier options. Tiffany Eaton, MPH, a DSPH doctoral candidate who led the study is co-leading OGF&B with Kumanyika and several partners and other collaborators.
This new national OGF&B campaign helps to mobilize Black youth and social media influencers to promote healthier food options. A change.org petition developed by OGF&B asks the National Restaurant Association, which represents nearly 380,000 restaurants across the U.S., to urge their members—especially those serving Black communities—to offer healthier menu options that will appeal to teens rather than only children under 12.
“OGF&B recognizes that the food marketing profit model relies primarily on promoting the less healthy products or menu options and sees the need for broader change from a public health perspective,” said Kumanyika. “Our campaign adds a new, positive element to the conversation to show that healthier food and beverage options can be a part of the solution to many critical Black community health problems.”
To learn more about the campaign and take action, please visit operationgoodfb.com.
OGF&B is a partnership with HeartSmiles, the Center for Science in the Public Interest, and the Rudd Center for Food Policy and Health at the University of Connecticut, and is supported by the Bloomberg American Health Initiative at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, and Evoke.
View OGF&B launch press release